BY DR. STEPHANIE NANI
Nearly everyone experiences muscle pain from time to time but it is often temporary, and resolves on its own. However, when a muscle is injured or over stressed small contractions known as trigger points may form causing a wide variety of chronic pain conditions.
Trigger points are highly irritated, painful spots found in muscles that are the result of injury, overuse, or chronic stress. Trigger points can be found by careful diagnosis. They are usually painful to the touch and contain nodules (or knots) and tight bands that can often be felt under the skin. When these trigger points irritate the nerves around them they cause “referred pain”, in other words they send their pain to some other site in the body, often far away from the actual trigger point itself. This can be very misleading to health care providers and is often the reason why so many conventional treatments for chronic pain fail. Conditions that may result from trigger points include neck or back pain, joint pain, pain in the limbs, sciatica, headaches, migraines, sinus irritation, heartburn, dizziness, nausea, irritable bowel, and many others). Some experts even believe that trigger points are the beginning stage of fibromyalgia.